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Judge rules against Adirondack railroad trail

Payne Horning
WRVO News File Photo
Railroad advocates rallied in Utica in 2016 to protest a state plan that would remove 34 miles of rails in the Adirondacks to build a bike path, which they believe would hurst the local tourism industry.

A state Supreme Court justice in Franklin County ruled Wednesday that the Cuomo administration's plan to turn a 34-mile-long section of an Adirondack railroad into a multi-use trail was "arbitrary and capricious" and failed to follow numerous state laws.

The state's plan called for removing the rails between Tupper Lake and Lake Placid for a trail corridor that could be used by hikers, bicyclists, snowmobilers and cross-country skiers.

The plan was opposed by the Adirondack Rail Preservation Society, which operates tourist trains as the Adirondack Scenic Railroad.

The justice's ruling was in response to a lawsuit the organization filed against the state last year.

State officials say they're reviewing the decision.

The state's plan for the 119-mile rail corridor from Utica to Lake Placid was finalized after many years of contentious debate.

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